Work Plan

The AENEAS work programme is divided over 6 main work packages (WPs). The first WP deals with the oversight and management of the AENEAS project itself and its structure, along with those of the other WPs, is discussed in more detail in Section 3.2 below. The AENEAS Management Support Team (AMST) will be responsible for maintaining oversight of the project and the various WPs and consist, at a minimum, of the project coordinator, the program manager, and the WP leaders. WP1 will also oversee the collection and dissemination of all project materials and be the central point of communication within the project and with the larger community. The remaining WPs represent the main technical content of the project.

The ultimate objective of the AENEAS project is to develop a plan for the implementation of a European Science Data Centre for the Square Kilometre Array. WP2 will focus on the non-technical aspect of assembling such a plan including an assessment of the overall European landscape into which the envisioned ESDC must integrate. In addition, WP2 will consider issues of policy, funding, overall governance, and industrial engagement. WP2 will also oversee the integrating activity whereby the results from WPs 3-6 are assembled into the final design study.

Work packages 3 and 4 encompass various aspects of the computing and networking components for the ESDC design. WP3 will focus on the computing requirements and in particular identify and assess the components, both in hardware and software, necessary to deploy the functionality required by the SKA science community. Based on the full SKA science case, WP3 takes a perspective of total science delivery and will consider requirements, computing and storage scales, and assess relevant technologies. WP4 will investigate and demonstrate the data transfer and storage techniques required for the network design of a distributed computing and network architecture for an ESDC. It will cover a range of activities including data access and transfer protocols, replica and transfer management, data movement, and network level testing.

The remaining work packages 5 and 6 are intended to address aspects of data access and knowledge creation as well as other cross-cutting services to ensure interoperability across the integrated infrastructure and e-infrastructure upon which the ESDC will be deployed. WP5 will emphasize data access and interfaces to the SKA data in the ESDC from the perspective of an individual user. It will build upon existing VO experience and frameworks to provide interoperable access to scientists across all SKA member states. In this sense, it is complementary to the total science delivery approach of WP3. The primary driver for WP5 will be enabling the extraction of scientific results by a distributed body of SKA end users.

We note that we have balanced the resources in the project dedicated to WP3 and WP5 by design. Although given the scale and complexity of SKA science products, computing is arguably one of the most challenging aspects of the SKA project, the balance between WP3 and WP5 reflects two key boundary conditions for the AENEAS project. First, the bulk of the design effort for the SKA computing challenge will be done under the auspices of the SKA project itself and the effort in WP3 is intended to both extend and connect to that larger effort, both technically and organizationally. WP3 will specifically focus on the computing elements necessary to support additional user processing and science extraction and take full advantage of the larger design effort underway in the SKA SDP design consortium. By contrast, WP5 focuses on the user interaction and accessibility aspects of working with SKA data scientifically, and as such covers areas that are either largely outside the current envisioned scope of the SKA design effort or present at a minimal level. In this sense, the relative weighting of resources for the AENEAS work packages, when combined with the relative priorities of the SKA project design effort itself, is designed to achieve the integral sum of functionality required to support community science extraction.

Finally, WP6 will concentrate on processes, protocols, tools, and services required to ensure interoperability between existing SKA-relevant e-Infrastructures. By addressing topics such as a seamless Authentication and Authorization Infrastructure (AAI) across the underlying network of service providers, WP6 is relevant to all of the preceding technical WPs 3-5 and essential to lower the barriers for potential users of the final SKA ESDC. By enabling SKA users to access federated services and resources offered by different e-infrastructure providers in Europe and around the world, WP6 is also crucial to connecting AENEAS with other similar efforts worldwide.